Nothing upsets us more than seeing a business that would massively benefit from AccountancyManager, not adopting it once they sign up.
Here are a few ideas on how to combat the big bad barrier of change. Note that the first five steps should start before your trial and implementation.
1) Ask your team about their frustrations
As soon as word starts spreading that you’re bringing in new software, people will start to put up mental barriers. So at the beginning, don’t make it about software, make it about solving your team’s problems.
2) Involve your team as early as possible
Change can be difficult, especially if it means tweaking long-held habits, but sudden change is much harder than gradual. If everyone at your practice feels like they are part of the journey and the decision-making process, you’re likely to have fewer ‘stick in the muds’ down the line.
3) Align the change with your business goals
Make tangible connections between the vision for your business and what the software can do. Try to be specific, for example – how will the software help you: grow your client base, open more offices or deliver new services? Support flexible working hours and locations? And how will you use the time you recoup?
4) Pick a tech ‘champion’ (or one for each team)
Your AM champion will prioritise learning the new software and encourage other colleagues to embrace and grips with it. Perhaps they’ve used the software before, they’ve an interest in technology or they simply have infectious enthusiasm for a more efficient firm.
5) Make a plan of attack
Work with your software champions or your whole team to make sure everyone agrees and feels part of the plan. And don’t forget ‘SMART’ goals. Make your plan specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
6) Carve out time for exploring and learning new features
We know asking accountants to ‘find time’ is a tall order, but remember – you’ll make that time back when the software is up and running. Whether you bring your team together for training or let them learn alone, it’s a good idea to dedicate time to implementing your software.
7) Set realistic expectations
Using software is easy once you get the hang of it (if it’s designed well), but learning new processes does take work. Explain this to your team, so they’re prepared to push through if they struggle to shake old habits.
8) Keep an eye on adoption and ask for feedback (constantly)
People that are totally bought into your vision and open to using new technology may not need much encouragement. It’s those that are particularly comfortable with their routine you’ll need to focus on. If you leave it too late, they will strengthen the idea that the software ‘isn’t working’.
9) Take advantage of all the support you can get
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or ping over a quick email with any questions. Good support teams (like AM’s) will get back to you straight away and help solve problems however big or small.
“Phoned us five times this week? No problem. Everyone has questions at the start. We’d rather have that sixth call than you suffer in silence.” - Marcus Bellis, AM’s Head of Sales
10) Stick to your guns
You decided to implement software to make your practice better. You have a vision of a more efficient, more future-ready firm. So don’t let negative vibes sway you along the way.
And always, always lean on support.
Our suggested steps for AM...
1. Add every client to AM (very important)
2. Apply your branding to the Client Portal
3. Register every client for the Client Portal
4. Use the Task List to manage your time
5. Onboard every new client through AM
6. Set up all your clients’ record requests and reminders to go automatically
7. Move your Self Assessment process to AM